Wednesday, November 5, 2014

LFR Strategies and Tricks: Mists of Pandaria (Tier 16)

Mists of Pandaria, much like Vanilla WoW, was said to have no "main villain" such as Illidan for the Burning Crusade and the like. However, (to likely tease players), Garrosh was announced as the final boss of the Mists of Pandaria expansion. While there is some tying together of story threads when it comes to Pandaria's lore and the rise and eventual dethroning of Garrosh, Garrosh showed up briefly after the first tier of raids and then proceeded to initiate a number of plans, but otherwise worked behind the scenes as players worked their way through Lei Shen's domain. With the Thunder King bested, the Alliance and Horde both decided to focus their efforts to laying siege to Orgrimmar, which is where the 16th tier of raiding comes in.

The Siege of Orgrimmar is a massive raid that begins in Pandaria shortly after the events of the patch 5.4 trailer, showing players the destruction Garrosh had wrought on the Vale of Eternal Blossoms for the sake of harnessing a dark power. Players would then delve into the heart of Orgrimmar where they would venture into a huge underground stronghold built within Ragefire Chasm, encounter numerous monstrosities and entities that chose to ally with Garrosh. After defeating the preceding thirteen bosses, players would finally have the opportunity to beat Garrosh to a pulp.

This part of the guide will cover the LFR versions of Tier 16: Siege of Orgrimmar. Go back to the tier 14 guide by clicking here or to tier 15 by clicking here. This guide will contain some additional tips for Normal (previous Flexible) mode when relevant, since it is highly desirable to run Normal mode to finish the legendary quest faster, not to mention players may want to get their guaranteed heirloom from Garrosh. If there are no additional tips for Normal mode, that means the fights are similar enough between LFR and Normal that the same tips should work.

I hope you all enjoyed this set of guides. See you all in Warlords of Draenor when I'll try to get more going.

The Siege of Orgrimmar's introductory boss, while intimidating-looking, is surprisingly quite easy. He's even easier after the squish since he has so little health it's possible to avoid some of his mechanics entirely through normal damage output.
  • When the boss splits, he will spawn many adds all around him that need to be dealt with, which is usually why the strategy is to spread out over all the platforms. However, if you are not a healer try to stay close to one and if you are, try to stay close to as many people as possible. It is not mandatory to spread out over all the platforms since it's possible to reach and defeat enough of the adds in time.
  • Try to utilize abilities that allow fast travel and benefit from distance since these abilities work best in this fight. For healers, smart healing abilities are extremely beneficial.
  • After the boss splits, count down from five and then use a defensive cooldown to reduce or negate large amounts of damage that will result from the adds reaching the center. You can also observe the progress of the adds if your video settings are high enough.
  • Use cooldowns as early as possible in this fight since the boss will lose maximum health rapidly, making cooldowns less effective later on in the fight.
Following up on one of the easiest fights in the Siege of Orgrimmar, if not the easiest out of both tier 15 and 16, is a moderately difficult fight that requires a good bit of coordination due to target switching and group positioning. This fight also features a mechanic known to trip players up and often result in their painful deaths.
  • Inferno Strike will be the most lethal mechanic in this fight. If you have an orange arrow over your head with a circular indicator around you, try to gather with other players to split the damage (do not run away from the group, since that is what players tend to do).
    • For Healers: Rook's Desperate Measures will likely be the largest source of incoming raid damage (particularly of the bursty variety) so use healing cooldowns accordingly.
  • When you are targeted by the Mark of Anguish, you will receive an extra actionbar ability. It is highly recommended that you have your raid frames activated so you can cast this ability on a tank. You can also set a tank as the focus so you can quickly target them to pass the Mark of Anguish to them.
  • Defeat the bosses in the following order: Rook, He, Sun. Attacks that strike multiple targets are very strong, but watch out for Desperate Measures.
    • Always prioritize enemies summoned by Desperate Measures over the bosses.
    • If the group's healing is good enough, the group can just stack all three bosses together and cleave them down like with the Stone Guard.
Someone was trying to start the fight when I took this screenshot.
While Norushen doesn't fight you himself, he forces you into a trial to defeat your own pride. Fortunately, it is not a true representation of the raid's pride-related corruption otherwise it is likely no LFR group would get past this boss.
  • Norushen will send damage dealers and healers to their trials based on their threat with the boss to allow them to cleanse their corruption. While I wouldn't advise using cooldowns as a damage dealer, healers can actively deal damage to the boss while he's not outputting much damage early on and get into a trial early. Discipline Priest is especially good at doing this (not to mention they benefit from both the damage and healing bonuses associated with cleansing corruption).
  • Use cooldowns after you have cleansed yourself of the corruption. Raid-wide cooldowns should be used once the boss is around 50% health or so since most of the raid should be cleansed by then.
  • The boss does a modest amount of raid damage that increases over time, meaning that stacking up for more effective healing is ideal.
  • Blind Hatred, which creates a helix-like black and white laser from the boss that moves slowly around the room will deal a moderate amount of damage if it touches players. However, the damage dealt is far more significant if a player suffers several ticks of damage from it, meaning a player could run through the laser to the opposite side and take one tick of damage instead of running circles around the boss.
    • This is especially beneficial since a good number of healers rely on ground-targeted area of effect, meaning the group would ideally want to be stacked in a specific spot at all times.
  • On Normal mode (and above), golden orbs will spawn around the containment field that allow players to start their trials manually (as opposed to an automatic warp down to the trial). Groups will typically call out assignments for who clicks on orbs when, but if there are no such assignments, just click an orb at the first possible opportunity and whenever your Corruption is at 75 or above thereafter.
    • Tanks should take an orb when the other tank is actively tanking the boss with a low amount of stacks of Self-Doubt.
The raid is preparing behind the boss, which is the "assigned position" of the first tip for this boss.
This boss is a physical representation of elitism. It's rather easy to beat and the trash will probably net more kills than it will.
  • Stack with the raid in the assigned position (typically behind the boss) as tight as possible to ensure Gift of the Titans grants its bonus effect.
  • The most lethal mechanic in the fight is Bursting Pride, which will occur if players with a high enough Pride are hit with Swelling Pride. However, the effect can be hard to see especially on lower graphical settings. Watch for Swelling Pride cast and once it finishes, move away from the rest of the raid for a few seconds, then regroup.
  • For healers: Try to dispel Mark of Arrogance while affected by Gift of Pride. However, as the boss gets lower, dispel the debuff more liberally since your Pride will get reset once the boss reaches 30%.
  • For tanks: The tank that does not have aggro on the boss should handle the far orange button of the prison when the boss imprisons a player.
    • On Normal, also watch out for the Wounded Pride debuff. Use target of target or set the other tank as a Focus to see when they receive the debuff and taunt immediately.
  • The boss will spawn Reflections periodically (after each Swelling Pride and near the beginning of the fight). Move out of where they pop up to avoid gaining Pride as this is a frequent source of Pride gains. To help see where the Reflections spawn, show healthbars by pressing V (by default).
Galakras is the introductory boss of the second wing of the Siege of Orgrimmar and while he seems to require coordination in the form of assigning groups for the long first phase, the strategy can be simplified greatly.
  • The two towers will become available over the course of the fight and must be taken. To ensure there are enough players to protect the NPCs from dying (because if a leader dies the fight resets), there is typically a group of five assigned to the tower. However, on both LFR and Normal, the NPCs can usually take care of themselves as long as there's a tank and a couple healers left on the ground. Therefore, all damage dealers should go up the towers.
    • The reasoning here is that the enemy waves that spawn between the first and second tower opening take a rather long time, allowing for a respite that allows a large amount of damage dealers to take the tower in quick order. Waves are also forgiving after the second tower opens up.
    • Do not enter towers immediately. Wait until a Demolisher is killed.
    • Try not to get knocked off the tower by the area of effect attacks the bosses do. There will be clouds of brown-grey smoke that indicate the unsafe areas.
    • There will be coils of rope near the edge of the tower (facing the path the enemies spawn from) that, when right clicked, will create a line of rope that can be clicked from the bottom to reach the top of the tower. Keep this in mind when scaling up the tower later on in the fight as well.
    • Use the first anti-air turret as soon as possible to shoot down the proto-drakes to prevent unnecessary raid damage.
  • When Galakras lands, the group should stack up as much as possible. Move to the back of the group if you're targeted by Flames of Galakrond (if only for practice).
This enormous metal monstrosity emphasizes high raid damage as opposed to being completely lethal despite his dangerous design.
  • Try to be slightly spread out but at the same time close to the rest of the group to prevent the boss's attacks from damaging too many raid members at once. Make sure you're not in front of the boss!
    • If the healers are really good, you can opt to stack up instead for easier healing.
  • For tanks, if you're not actively tanking the boss, make sure to right click on Crawler Mines (press V to easily find them by their health bars) to detonate them and prevent raid damage. Make sure you're healthy enough to do this and if necessary, use a defensive cooldown (especially on Normal mode).
  • When the boss goes into siege mode, he'll use his Shock Pulse to knock players away and make healing an absolute nightmare. Try to stay near the entrance or ensure you'll get knocked into a nearby wall to ensure you stay within range of your healers.
This duo serves as the encounter that takes place at the heart of Orgrimmar where Garrosh would've been had he not built an underground fortress. They require a high amount of tank coordination to ensure the group doesn't fall prey to the many hazards the bosses conjure over the course of the fight.
  • Utilize the massive open area outside of the warchief's throne room that the bosses start in (a member of the group will typically reset the bosses so they spawn outside)
  • For tanks, while the debuff that Haromm puts out require tank switches, that will bethe least of your worries. This encounter will put your spatial awareness to the test by watching for area-targeted ground effects and lines of Ash Elementals that will melee nearby players. Every ability the bosses use will have a cast time (or channel), so react accordingly.
    • On Normal, Foul Geyser will do significant damage and need to be avoided. Kardris will channel this onto her current target, so try to avoid the attack by running in a large circle so the adds that spawn can be easily gathered.
  • Utilize cleave-like abilities, particularly ones that favor two targets to maximize damage output. Tanks should try to keep the two bosses to ensure that cleave-like abilities hit.
  • Use cooldowns when the bosses reach 25% and use Bloodlust. This is by far the most intense part of the fight. Shorter cooldowns can usually be used at the beginning of the fight as well.
He's usually supposed to have an army of adds in front of him but the group will almost always despawn them.
Not to be confused with Nazgrel, a lore figure that existed since Warcraft III, Nazgrim was introduced as the leader of the initial Horde expedition into Pandaria. He stands before prospective Alliance and Horde raiders who wish to infiltrate Garrosh's underground fortress, armed with what is, in my opinion, one of the most overrated raid mechanics.
  • Nazgrim switches stances once per minute, cycling between Battle, Berserker, and Defensive Stance. The typical strategy is to stop all damage during Defensive Stance, but on LFR the Ravagers Nazgrim throws at 100 Rage are not only temporary but also don't do a lot of damage, not to mention they are easy to avoid.
    • On Normal the Ravagers are permanent (or last for a very long time) and thus managing Nazgrim's Rage is a bit more dependent on how good the raid is at dodging axes and how strong the healers are.
    • While players can feel free to deal damage during Defensive Stance, adds always have a priority over the boss.
  • For tanks, while taunting when the other tank receives a certain amount of debuff stacks is a typical mechanic in an encounter, it's very important here because while Sundering Blow doesn't cause the tank to take a significant amount of damage with each stack, the increasing Rage gain can get out of control very fast.
    • The reason I imply this mechanic is more dangerous than Defensive Stance is because Nazgrim can usually throw out three Ravagers per Defensive Stance, but he can throw out far more along with his War Song if a mechanic that is standard for tanking is ignored for the entire fight.
  • Heroic Leap may not seem like much, but the Aftershock that results can deal a high amount of burst damage to the point of killing off players with ease.
This boss is similar to the reworked Sion. Both have some usage of shields, a massive area-targeted slam, knock-up effects, and brutal physical damage output. However, Malkorok doesn't have an epic, easily avoidable charge attack.
  • A raid member may mark areas that the boss uses Arcing Smash on. Every time the boss uses the ability thrice, he will then follow up with Breath of Y'shaarj so be careful.
    • An easy way to avoid the skill is to follow the Arcing Smash and stand in a section close to where the smash was done, changing locations only if Arcing Smash is used on the section you stand on (just don't go into the section that was recently smashed). This will usually ensure safety.
  • Stand in Imploding Energy (the purple circles on the ground) to prevent them from damaging your raid. However, check to make sure other players aren't also standing in one since only one person needs to take the damage. If you feel hesitant, it's better to take the damage from Imploding Energy.
  • When Malkorok reaches 100 rage, stack with in front of the boss unless you receive a debuff., in which you should run away from the group. Your screen will have a darkened border if you have the debuff. Healers should not dispel the debuff until the player leaves area the group is stacked.
Spoils of Pandaria is an interesting fight that doesn't involve fighting a traditional boss, but rather several boss creatures and adds that can be spawned at the leisure of the raid. While LFR limits how many boxes can be opened on this boss, aggressive spawning of the enemies to shut down the security system guarding the Spoils of Pandaria faster is quite possible.
  • As a tank, try to open a couple smaller boxes before opening the largest boxes (these contain the minibosses) so that the small enemies can get killed by collateral damage. Keep in mind some enemies are stationary so move enemies together accordingly.
    • A non-tank could also help open the boxes, but it's far better for the tank to open them since otherwise everyone in the raid may end up opening an excessive amount of boxes randomly. If you feel your side isn't going to flip the switch before the enrage timer (shown at the top), however, begin to open some smaller boxes.
    • Small box enemies are worth one unit of energy (all of the enemies have to be killed, if there are multiple), medium are worth three, and the minibosses are worth 15. Open boxes accordingly as the energy reaches 50 so there's not a bunch of wasted time killing enemies unnecessarily.
  • If one side is going too slow (compare the energy meters or watch for what raid members say), you may want to switch sides by clicking on the hook near the area you had to jump down from.
  • Cooldowns are best used on the first set of minibosses in the second rooms. It helps to speed up the fight and passing the first room without cooldowns is a good indicator that the fight can be finished.
  • Make sure to use the extra actionbar button to throw down charges of Set to Blow. Even if you accidentally place some near the group, it's a lot better for players to take one bomb's worth of damage (or several over time) than to take the damage of all the charges at once.
The two pterodaxes are not part of the fight.
Thok is a vicious creature and while he may not require 120 people to kill like his cousin Oondasta once did, he still brings a suite of brutally high damage mechanics to the table.
  • The boss does a high amount of AoE damage and, during a specific phase, will require Mass Dispelling. The group should stack (and someone in the raid will often assign a spot to do so) until the boss enters his second phase (noted by an alert).
    • On Normal mode, the activation for Phase 2 is a little different and depends on how well your healers can heal. Plan your group composition accordingly.
  • Once the boss enters his second phase, spread out and, if you happen to get targeted by the boss, try not to run him through people since the damage he deals is very high to the point it will kill players.
    • The typical assignment is for ranged to continue to damage the boss and for melee to focus on the Jailer that spawns. However, it may be more lucrative to either focus the Jailer down since the potential for raid members dying is very high in this phase, meaning that exiting the phase as quickly as possible is a good idea.
  • Releasing Montak, who is in the far right end of the room (when you initially enter) is typically done in the final phase and that is when all cooldowns should be used. Also remember to stay out of the fire, since the boss will spawn a lot of it during this phase (instead of trying to stack up).
Blackfuse is a difficult boss (considered by some the most difficult in Siege of Orgrimmar) that requires a good bit of coordination from all roles. Failure to follow many of the mechanics in the fight can make the fight far more difficult if not outright cause a wipe due to the high number of casualties that the raid damage this boss brings causes.
  •  While one damage dealer may be enough to send to the Assembly Line to kill weapons (through the leftmost pipe near the conveyer belt), it may be better to send more to ensure a weapon dies since the shield that Blackfuse gains from allowing all the weapons to live is a huge damage loss.
    • On Normal, at least two players will have to be assigned to the belt, alternating between weapon spawns due to the debuff placed on the player preventing consecutive attempts at access to the belt.
    • If you don't feel confident about jumping in the pipe at the end to leave the belt, just wait until Blackfuse pulls you back to the main platform. It is advised to do this in general since it's safer (just don't get hit by lasers).
    • For weapon targets, prioritize Crawler Mines, followed by Electromagnet. Both of these weapons are very disruptive and can potentially cause a lot of raid damage.
  • For tanks, switch aggro on Blackfuse when Automated Shredders spawn and have the tank who has the stacks of debuff from Electrostatic Charge go and pick up the add, making sure to kill it a good distance away from Blackfuse (if there's a visible beam and the add has a buff saying it's being healed, it's too close).
    • When the add uses Death From Above, step back to avoid the knockup effect. Ranged damage dealers should help kill the add after this has finished.
    • Try to tank the add in Sawblades and Superheated. Just don't get hit by them yourself (it's okay to be closer to the boss in either of these cases).
  • The group should try to stack a little, but ensure that Sawblades and Superheated (the laser) are set in areas away from the group.
  • Use all cooldowns at the start of the fight since this encounter has a tendency to kill off raid members over time.
Paragons of the Klaxxi is a fight that seems complex due to the sheer number of mechanics present. However, even on higher difficulties, this fight boils down to a handful of mechanics being very threatening while others are barely worth a glance. The fight still requires a little coordination to defeat smoothly.
  • My preferred kill order for the Klaxxi is: Rik'kal, Skeer, Korven, Ka'roz, Xaril, Kaz'tik, Hisek, Iyyokuk, Kil'ruk. This applies to both Normal and LFR (but the kill order should be agreed upon by the group if needed).
    • Assign someone to mark each boss with a Skull to ensure that many raid members focus the target down. If you wish to take up the assignment, make sure you have Raid Leader or Assistant and make a keybinding for "Assign Skull to target" in Target Markers as it helps speed up the encounter.
    • Remember to right click the corpses to gain new abilities (especially for Rik'kal, since his Scorpion Form does a lot of damage)
  • Someone in the group will probably mention this, but make sure to kill the Amber that Korven uses (probably on himself) since it will result in a large amount of healing. Use all cooldowns here to ensure it dies (and mark with a Skull if possible).
  • While healing is not too intensive on this fight (compared to the preceding two fights), stacking will generally be favorable. Just watch for hazards.
He's gone mad!
The final boss of the Mists of Pandaria expansion stands before your group, and he truly earns the title. When he was initially made available, he, like Lei Shen, brought LFR groups to their knees in the form of many Determination stacks due to the high amount of coordination and attention required over a rather lengthy fight. Gear, changes in 6.0, and hotfixes all have made the fight dramatically easier, but Garrosh can still trip up LFR groups from time to time.

This fight is a bit complex and, more notably, has a couple strategies. I will give advice based on the "stacking strategy" since it's far more straightforward and requires less coordination from the group.
  • For phase 1, assign one or more ranged damage dealers to take down the Engineer on the left side when it spawns. They always spawn when Garrosh uses his Warsong (which is noted by an alert).
    • Stay out of the path of the Iron Star that gets fired from the right side. Even on LFR it can result instant death. If there are still any Warbringers alive, use knockbacks to knock them into the oncoming Iron Star.
  • When Garrosh uses Desecrate, at least start spamming area of effect or cleave abilities to get some collateral damage on the weapon (it is more preferable to target switch quickly by pressing Tab).
  • If the group is transported to the Temple of the Red Crane in the intermission phase, go left (and tell the group to go left if someone doesn't). Also, for all intermission phases, make sure to touch white bubbles or stand in pools of yellow on the ground to obtain a 50% damage reduction effect. This will help dramatically against Garrosh's Annihilate (don't stand in the purple areas).
  • When players get mind controlled, prioritize interrupting them, then focusing them down. Area of effect will probably break players out of mind control during phase 2 since everyone will still be stacked.
    • This especially applies in the final phase, where players will often tunnel vision the boss and ignore mind controls. This is one of the main reasons raids wipe on Garrosh.
  • When Garrosh heals back up, thus starting the final phase, use all coodowns. 
    • Weapons cannot be killed during phase 3. The tank(s) should move Garrosh out of the area and the group should instead try to stay with the tanks.
    • When Garrosh begins to use his Empowered Whirl, start moving around a bit to avoid the adds that erupt from the ground. There are purple swirls that indicate where they come up but the sheer amount of visual effects on the screen (mostly from the whirl) may blot them out. Do not stay stacked for this attack.

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